I spotted a professionally made fire pit while wandering around Fredericksburg, Texas. It looked like a great addition to our patio and a fun welding project for me. Below is a picture of the final product, complete with a swing away grill and foot-rest/guard. The only thing left to do is to get it to the patio... need a couple of friends to help carry it! I had a great time creating it. It pushed my beginner level welding skills and forced me to learn some new tricks.
To start with I had to find the rounded tube piece that makes up the body of the fire pit. Typically, a "tank head" is used. A tank head is the end of a compressed gas or liquid tank. They can be purchased new, but have more character and cost less if recycled from a scrap yard. Here's the tank head I salvaged locally. Note the jagged edge on the rim and small pipe sticking out of the bottom. These had to be corrected/removed.
The first step was to clean up the rim of the tank head. It had been rough cut with an oxyacetylene torch to get it down to a size that could be handled as it was removed from it's prior home. Whoever did it was not concerned with the final product. After some careful measurements and drawing out a guide line I trimmed down the rim with my Hobart plasma cutter. I'm still amazed at how well plasma cutters work. The cut was amazingly clean and fast.
Next up were the legs. I decided to keep it simple and follow the "3 points make a plane theory". The pit was going to have three legs making it more forgiving on the measurement and fabrication side of things. The plan was to have the three legs attach towards the bottom edge of the tank head and come down at an angle. Each leg would have a quarter inch thick plate steel "pad" to keep it from sinking into the ground or damaging a patio's surface. Click the picture above to watch a video of me cutting the 1 1/2" 14 gauge steel tubing to make the legs. Oh, and yes this is my custom built chop saw and cutting grate table. You can see more by visiting my previous post.
Here I am rounding the edges of the pads with the Hobart plasma cutter. Click the picture to watch the video.